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Dec 20, 2010

CNBC Eening Brief : Jobless Americans Wary of Losing Their Edge .


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Price of Admission: America’s College Debt Crisis
CNBC 360 Premieres Tomorrow 9:00 PM ET/PT
With student debt nearing one trillion dollars…Americans now owe more on their student loans than their credit cards. Go inside the debt crisis that could keep tax payers on the hook for generations. A CNBC Original, Price of Admission: America’s College Debt Crisis, premieres tomorrow at 9:00PM ET/PT.
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Financial & Forex Info News | KITCO New York Metals Market At Close

New York Market Close Dec 20/10 05:20 PM EST

NYT: Afternoon Business News | Afternoon Businesss Update


Skype Looks for a Spot in Offices and Cellphones

Skype, a financial underachiever, is trying to find new ways to make money from its 124 million users.

Surviving the Holiday Travel Crowds, With Good Will

To cope with holiday madness at airports and hotels, business travelers say they leave extra time, rely on loyalty club memberships and, most important, show patience.

Cuomo Seen to Sue Ernst & Young

The New York attorney general is said to be preparing to file a lawsuit against the auditor of Lehman Brothers.

S.E.C. Sues Former Carter's Executive

The S.E.C. also announced that it had agreed not to bring charges against Carter's, which self-reported the alleged financial misstatements -- the first such deal since the agency started an initiative to encourage companies to report violations of securities laws.

AT&T to Buy Qualcomm Spectrum for $1.9 Billion

The deal for the licenses, which encompass more than 300 million people, will expand AT&T's 4G capacity.

Stocks End Mostly Higher To Open Week - U.S. Commentary : RTTNews Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap Mon Dec 20  2010


Dec 20, 2010 Stocks End Mostly Higher To Open Week - U.S. Commentary Stocks recovered from their early losses and ended mostly higher to open the week on Monday, as some economic optimism drove buying interest. Nonetheless, a full on rally was prevented by the day's weak volume and a lack of economic reports. Full Article

Corporate News

Dec 20, 2010 Buckeye To Acquire 80% Interest In Bahamas Oil For $1.36 BlnBuckeye Partners, L.P. (BPL), an operator of refined petroleum product pipeline systems, Monday said it has agreed to acquire an 80% interest in Bahamas Oil Refining Co. International from affiliates of First Reserve Corp. for $1.36 billion. Buckeye expects to finance the purchase through a combination of equity and debt. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Medtronic CEO William Hawkins To Retire In AprilMedical equipment maker Medtronic Inc. (MDT) Monday said William Hawkins intends to retire as Chairman and CEO of the company at the end of the current fiscal year closing on April 29, 2011. The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company's board of directors has initiated an external search for his replacement. Hawkins plans to remain until his successor is appointed. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Jefferies Group Q4 Profit Drops 24%Securities and investment banking firm Jefferies Group, Inc. (JEF) announced Monday preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter, reporting a 24% year-over-year decline in profit for the fourth quarter, despite revenue growth, hurt by significantly higher compensation and benefits expenses. However, both earnings per share and quarterly revenues came in above analysts' expectations. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 AT&T To Buy Wireless Spectrum From Qualcomm For $1.925 BlnTelecom giant AT&T Inc. (T) and chip maker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) said Monday that AT&T has agreed to purchase wireless spectrum licenses in the lower 700 MHz frequency from Qualcomm for $1.925 billion. The move is expected to boost AT&T's ability to provide enhanced 4G services to its customers. Full Article

Featured Article

Dec 20, 2010 Dollar Rises As Focus Stays On Europe The dollar continued to strengthen against the euro on Monday, even as European officials dismissed speculation the monetary union may split due to stresses caused by competitiveness gaps within the EU. On a day bereft of first-tier economic news from the US, focus remained on developments across the Atlantic. Full Article

Political News

Dec 20, 2010 Senate Unexpectedly Passes Food Safety BillIn an unexpected move, the Senate approved a food safety overhaul bill by voice vote Sunday evening, correcting a procedural error that had threatened the passage of the popular bill during the lame duck session. While the Senate voted 73-25 to pass the bill earlier this month, final passage of the bill was held up because the Senate version contained revenue provisions that, under the Constitution, must originate in the House. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Most Think Health Care Law Is Likely To Be RepealedA majority of likely U.S. voters now believe that the health care reform bill that was signed into law in March is likely to be repealed, according to the results of a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday. The poll showed that 52 percent of likely U.S. voters said that the law is at least somewhat likely to be repealed compared to 33 percent that see repeal as unlikely. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Senate Democrats Continue Push For Approval Of START TreatyDemocrats continue to pursue an aggressive strategy in the lame duck session, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filing a motion Sunday night to limit debate on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. The treaty, which was signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2010, calls for reducing the number of nuclear warheads held by each country to 1,550 and reducing the number of delivery vehicles to 700 by the end of 2017. Full Article

Wall Street edges higher on energy and financial shares | Financial & Forex | Reuters - Daily Investor Update

Wall Street edges higher on energy and financial shares
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks tacked on further gains to push the S&P 500 to a two-year high on Monday, continuing a steady upward march investors believe will continue in 2011. | Full Article

NY prosecutors set to sue Ernst & Young: report
December 20, 2010 12:03 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prosecutors in New York are set to file civil fraud charges against accounting firm Ernst & Young LLC over the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. | Full Article
Genzyme argues Campath value in Sanofi fight
December 20, 2010 03:40 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Genzyme Corp argued that its experimental multiple sclerosis treatment will garner far higher sales than Sanofi-Aventis SA is projecting, as it aims to wrest a significantly higher bid than the $18.5 billion offered by the French drugmaker. | Full Article
Russian potash miner Uralkali to buy Silvinit
December 20, 2010 11:37 AM ET
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian billionaire set the terms on Monday for a merger of Russia's top two producers of potash, Uralkali and Silvinit to create the world's No. 2 player. | Full Article
Telenor blasts troubled Vimpelcom-Weather deal
December 20, 2010 12:07 PM ET
OSLO/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vimpelcom's $6.6 billion bid for telecoms assets owned by Weather Investments was hanging by a thread after Norwegian shareholder Telenor said on Monday it would not back the move. | Full Article
North Korea backs down over South Korean drill
December 20, 2010 04:21 PM ET
YEONPYEONG, South Korea (Reuters) - North Korea stepped back from confrontation over "reckless" military drills by the South on Monday and reportedly issued a new offer on nuclear inspections, drawing a cautious response from Seoul and Washington. | Full Article
Newark Airport terminal reopened after bomb scare
December 20, 2010 09:43 AM ET
NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - Security forces began allowing passengers back into Newark Airport's Terminal A after the terminal was shut for more than half an hour early on Monday because of a suspicious package, a Reuters witness said. | Full Article
Congress seeks government funding through March 4
December 20, 2010 01:04 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate will try to pass a bill this week keeping the government operating through March 4, when the next Congress would have to work out spending priorities for the rest of the fiscal year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday. | Full Article
Arms treaty debate increasingly testy in Senate
December 20, 2010 03:41 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Debate in the Senate over President Barack Obama's strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia grew increasingly testy on Monday but the White House expressed confidence lawmakers would approve the accord before their Christmas break. | Full Article
Heavy snow, cold disrupt travel across north Europe
December 20, 2010 02:21 PM ET
BERLIN/LONDON (Reuters) - Snow and freezing temperatures grounded flights and disrupted road and rail links across northern Europe on Monday, stranding travelers and closing schools. | Full Article
Senators see chance for passing 9/11 health bill
Study finds contamination in virus link to fatigue
Brain scans predict which dyslexics will read
No toilets costs India $54 billion annually: World Bank
Kroger recalls pet foods at some stores

Financial & Forex Info News | U. S. Markets Indexes At Close | WSJ

Dec. 20, 2010 at 4.02 p.m E.S.T.

Major Indexes
    Last Change % Chg
DJIA* 11478.36  -13.55  -0.12
Nasdaq*   2649.56     6.59   0.25
S&P 500*   1247.10     3.19   0.26
DJ Total Stock Market* 13177.94   34.40   0.26

Source: The wall Street Journal

Probable carcinogen hexavalent chromium found in drinking water of 31 U.S. cities. The Washington Post Afternoon Edition

Washington Post

1) Probable carcinogen hexavalent chromium found in drinking water of 31 U.S. cities

An environmental group that analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States, including Bethesda and Washington, found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen that was made famous by the film "Erin Brockovich."

2) Enrollment of Muslim students is growing at Catholic colleges in U.S.

On a quick break between classes last week, Reef Al-Shabnan slipped into an empty room at Catholic University to start her daily prayers to Allah.

3) Senate panel ban seen as double standard

Gordon R. England's appointment to a top Pentagon post in 2006 came at a high price. The Senate committee overseeing his confirmation demanded that he give up lucrative stocks and options he held in companies that do business with the military.

4) Redskins vs. Cowboys: Shanahans lose a game, but win Donovan McNabb-Rex Grossman argument

ARLINGTON, TEX. It wasn't a ballgame so much as a referendum on who was right. All week there were undercurrents of resentment and blame among the Washington Redskins over the benching of Donovan McNabb . Was he the problem, or was the problem Coach Mike Shanahan and his junior partner Kyle ? The...

5) Runners-up to Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year

-- The runners-up to Merriam-Webster's 2010 Word of the Year - austerity - with definitions from the publisher's collegiate dictionary and, when applicable, the news event or story that generated the interest in the word:

6) For gay rights, is repeal of 'don't ask' military ban the end or the beginning?

For the American gay rights movement, this is the big question that follows Saturday's landmark repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

7) Va. Politics: Del. seeks to ban gays from Va. National Guard

Following this weekend's vote by the Senate to allow gays to openly serve in the military, Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince WIlliam) said he is drafting a bill for the 2011 legislative session that would ban them from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

8) Senate passes food-safety bill

A bill that would overhaul the nation's food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression came roaring back to life Sunday as Senate Democrats struck a deal with Republicans that helped overcome a technical mistake made three weeks ago and a filibuster threat that seemed likely to...

9) Robbers kill D.C. shopkeeper in front of wife and son

He was there seven days a week, the shopkeeper everyone went to for bread and milk and maybe some conversation, if he had the time. At day's end, Raj Patel would climb a single flight of stairs to an apartment he shared with his two co-workers, who happened to be his wife and grown son.

10) Redskins' Grossman proved many wrong with play against Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TEX. For reasons partly of his own doing and the mean-spirited sports world we live in, most every Washingtonian, Chicagoan and, well, American had been trained to regard Rex Grossman as an enemy of the state, a starting quarterback for perverse reasons only - the NFL equivalent of fee...

Credit for energy upgrades becomes less enticing: MarketWatch - Personal Finance Daily

Personal Finance Daily
DECEMBER 20, 2010

Monday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:
Congress extended a tax credit for home energy efficiency improvements last week, but in its newest form there may be fewer homeowners who are actually motivated to take advantage.

That's because the value of the credit is reduced significantly, from a maximum $1,500 that taxpayers were able to get in 2009 and 2010 to a maximum $500 in 2011. The credit is available for homeowners who purchase certain improvements for their principal residences, such as more efficient windows and doors, water heaters, heating and air-conditioning systems and other upgrades.

Read more about the tax credit in today's personal finance pages, plus check out MarketWatch's annual ranking of the best cities for business and find out how "American Idol" is going to rattle your TV habits.

Some homeowners are already hurrying in order to get their energy efficiency home improvements installed by the end of the year, which will qualify them for the larger credit on their 2010 income taxes.

For them, the clock is ticking, and it's not as easy to get jobs done in the thick of the holiday season. But come tax season, they'll be glad they made the extra effort.

Amy Hoak , Real Estate writer


Tax credit for home energy upgrades cut

Forget holiday door-buster sales. For big savings, some homeowners are actually buying themselves new doors for Christmas this year, in time to claim the government's tax credit for home energy efficiency on their income taxes.
Read more: Tax credit for home energy upgrades cut.


Senate debates nuclear-arms treaty

The U.S. Senate will resume debate Monday on ratification of a new nuclear-arms reduction treaty with Russia. President Obama wants Senate approval before year ends.
Read more: Senate debates nuclear-arms treaty.

Commentary: Sopranos: Wall Street edition

Wire taps and insiders are standard in pursuing organized crime, but are largely new to Wall Street, and their use is long overdue.
Read more: Sopranos: Wall Street edition.


Ten money-making investment ideas for 2011

Take a good look at the impressive gains that both U.S. and global stock markets posted this year, to many investors' pleasant surprise. You don't want to miss the repeat performance in 2011.
Read more: Ten money-making investment ideas for 2011.

Fund industry's second helping of holiday jeers

Here's a second helping of the annual Lump of Coal Awards, given each year to the fund industry's bad boys and girls, the ones who deserve nothing more than an inky chunk of carbon in their holiday stockings — including the Mis-Manager of the Year.
Read more:Fund industry's second helping of holiday jeers.

Equal-weight ETFs tip investment returns

xchange-traded funds that hold stocks in equal amounts rather than by market capitalization offer investors an alternative approach to indexing, with a tilt to smaller stocks and less concentration than standard market benchmarks.
Read more: Equal-weight ETFs tip investment returns.


Resilience makes Washington ‘Best City'

It takes a resilient economy to ride through the Great Recession — and it doesn't hurt to have the world's most powerful government in your backyard.
Read more: Resilience makes Washington 'Best City'

The 10 best cities for business in pictures

Which 10 cities made the MarketWatch list of best places to do business for 2010? The winner shouldn't be a surprise, but some of the runners-up are places you wouldn't expect.
Read more: The 10 best cities for business in pictures.


‘American Idol' is about to rattle your TV habits

Heading into "American Idol's" most vulnerable season in seven years, CBS, ABC and NBC are hoping that a conservative lineup of returning hits and traditionally oriented newcomers can topple television's reality juggernaut.
Read more: 'American Idol' is about to rattle your TV habits.


Auto review: 2011 Ford Flex

Auto review: The 2011 Flex from Ford is a fine people-mover.
Read more: Auto review: 2011 Ford Flex.

Granny and Clyde: When seniors scam seniors

A grim category of crime is on the rise: senior-on-senior financial fraud. According to regulators and prosecutors, there has been a significant increase recently in the number of cases in which older investors have been taken advantage of by elderly scam artists.
Read more: Granny and Clyde: When seniors scam seniors.

Many happy (holiday purchase) returns

Online shopping: So convenient! So cheap! Returning those gifts to the cybermall: So expensive! Such a hassle! While there's not much online retailers can do about the required trip to the post office to send back a dud, they are starting to sweeten their return policies, extending the windows and picking up the tab.
Read more: Many happy (holiday purchase) returns.

Change the world on any budget

Got any plans for next week? Perhaps you could begin changing the world.Yes, household budgets remain tight. But you don't have to be a lottery winner to make a difference in your community or halfway around the globe. People who are winding down first or primary careers and looking for new directions are discovering that for the cost of a weekend getaway, they can help change the world. Or start to.
Read more: Change the world on any budget.

London Fix Market Report | Financial & Forex Info News ( F & F I N ) | KITCO

London Fix Mon Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2010
USD 1381.00 1380.00   29.21 1700.00
742.00 747.00
UK 888.96 889.23   18.77 1092.55
476.85 480.25
EURO 1051.47 1049.83   22.18 1292.30
564.05 567.65

Stocks Poised To Kick Off Week With Modest Gains - U.S. Commentary . RTTNews Morning Market Briefing

Morning Market Briefing Mon Dec 20  2010


Dec 20, 2010 Stocks Poised To Kick Off Week With Modest Gains - U.S. Commentary Stock futures are pointing to modest upside at the start of trading on Monday amid a light day that features no first-tier economic data. The major index futures are all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 37 points. Full Article

Economic News

Dec 20, 2010 Taiwan Export Orders Hit Record High New export orders to Taiwanese firms hit an all-time high in November, as demand for electronic products rose sharply from the US and Europe ahead of the Christmas season. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Doubts Linger Despite More Positive Data PointsData flow has been verily encouraging. The U.S. reported strong retail sales for November, the period coinciding with the start of the holiday selling season, fairly upbeat manufacturing conditions, strong industrial production growth and resurgence in consumer sentiment. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Ireland Downplays ECB's ConcernsThe Irish Finance Ministry on Monday said neither the European Central Bank nor any national central bank would be exposed financially by Ireland's recently announced Credit Institutions Stabilisation Bill. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 UK Mortgage Lending Likely To Maintain Current Modest Level In 2011, CML SaysMortgage lending in UK is unlikely to show any significant rise from this year in 2011, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said Monday. Full Article

Earnings News

Dec 20, 2010 Jeffries Q4 Profits Down on higher ExpensesJeffries Group Inc. (JEF), an investment and securities banking firm, Monday reported a lower fourth-quarter profit on higher compensation and benefits expense, despite an increase in revenue. Full Article

Corporate News

Dec 20, 2010 Buckeye Partners to buy 80% stake in Bahamas OilPetroleum products pipeline operator Buckeye Partners L.P. (BPL), Monday agreed to buy 80% of Bahamas Oil Refining Company International from First Reserve Corp. and associates for $1.36 billion. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 AEP names Akins to succeed Morris as PresidentAmerican Electric Power (AEP), an utility company, Monday said Nicholas Akins would replace Michael Morris as President from January 1. Morris will continue as Chairman of the Board and CEO Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Alberto Culver shareholders agree to $3.7 bln Acquisition by UnileverThe shareholders of Alberto Culver Co. (ACV), a packaged goods company, approved a $3.7 billion acquisition by consumer goods maker Unilever plc (UL, ULVR.L, UN) Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 KKR drops plans to acquire PerpetualPerpetual Ltd., an Australian financial services provider, and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), are no longer discussing an acquisition after both the parties failed to agree on KKR's $1.72 billion offer. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 AT&T, Qualcomm agree on $1.93 bln Spectrum Licenses PurchaseAT&T Inc. (T) agreed to buy spectrum licenses from Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM) for $1.925 billion. The spectrum covers the lower 700 MHz frequency band, and will allow AT&T to boost its 4G mobile broadband capabilities. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Novartis inks healthcare deal with City of St. PetersburgMonday, Novartis AG (NVS) said it inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of St. Petersburg, Russia to build a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The MoU is part of a $500 million planned investment in healthcare and infrastructure projects in the country over a 5-year period. Full Article
Dec 20, 2010 Medtronic CEO to retireMonday, Medical devices maker Medtronic Inc. (MDT) said that William Hawkins would retire as chairman and chief executive at the end of the current fiscal 2011. Also, Hawkins would remain in the company until his successor is named. Full Article

Broker Ratings Changes

Dec 20, 2010 FBR Capital Markets Lifts CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX) To Outperform From Market Perform With $61 Up From $48 Price Target
Dec 20, 2010 FBR Capital Markets Upgrades Halliburton Company (HAL) To Outperform From Market Perform With $50 Up From $40 Price Target
Dec 20, 2010 FBR Capital Markets Upgrades Patriot Coal Corporation (PCX) To Outperform From Market Perform With $21 Up From $16 Price Target
Dec 20, 2010 KeyBanc Capital Markets Initiates RTI International Metals, Inc (RTI) At Hold

Todays WS Events

Dec 20, 2010 Adobe Systems Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 5:00 PM ET Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) will host a conference call at 5:00 PM ET, to discuss Q4 10 earnings results, on December 20, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on to
Dec 20, 2010 Genzyme Investor Event On Alemtuzumab At 1:00 PM ET Genzyme Corp. (GENZ) will hold an Analyst and Investor meeting in New York, focused specifically on the commercial potential of alemtuzumab for multiple sclerosis. The event is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM ET, December 20, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on to
Dec 20, 2010 Jabil Circuit Q1 11 Earnings Conference Call At 4:30 PM ET Jabil Circuit Inc. (JBL) will host a conference call at 4:30 PM ET, December 20, 2010, to discuss its Q1 11 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at To hear the live call, dial (800) 837-7537 (US) or (706) 634-1268 (International) with ID# 31638513. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing (800) 642-1687 (US) or (706) 645-9291 (International) with ID# 31638513.